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Robert AmranCentinelas del Silencio (1971)

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The real star here is the late aerial photographer James Freeman, whose breathtaking helicopter shots of Mayan and Aztec ruins at sunrise and sunset won an Academy Award for this film in 1971. Although the English version was narrated by Orson Welles, the Spanish version, narrated by Ricardo Montalban, is in better keeping with the ethnic aspect of the film, and no knowledge of Spanish is needed to appreciate his dramatic impact. Don't be put off by the heroic musical score: this film is memorable, the last word on spectacular ruin cinematography. ‘Centinelas’ remains available on VHS only in México, while Amran has, according to at least one report, vanished south of the border. Freeman was killed while scouting a location for a commercial sponsored by Eastman Kodak.

This movie is part of the collection: Academic Film Archive of North America

Producer: Robert Amran
Sponsor: Rob McGlynn
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Language: Spanish
Keywords: Maya; Aztec; helicopter; Chichen Itza; Monte Alban; Tulum; Toltec; Uxmal; Palenque

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Reviewer: Geoff Alexander - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 18, 2012
Subject: Thank you
Wonderful reminiscence, Ricardo. Comments like yours make the joy of uploading this film all the more rewarding. Thank you.
Reviewer: Rihel - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - January 10, 2010
Subject: You can find the DVD in English and Spanish
Was about 1972 when my father take me to the movie (Cine Obregón) in México City to wath a II WW Movie, however, at that time,the Mexico's Teathers present a short movie before the important one. In that case, was this "CENTINELAS DEL SILENCIO". At that time I was 10 years old and since then, I forgot the principal movie. Not the same with Centinelas del Silencio. I spent more than ten years looking for a decent copy of this really, only on its type, remarcable movie. About three years ago, with a lot of patience and dedication I could find the Mexican Company wich remastered the movie. The most amazig thing is that the remastering is superv and you have two menus, one in englih narrated by Ricardo Montalban, who recently passes away, and the ENGLISH version, narrated by Orson Wells. Both, English and Spanish versions are indescriptible outstanding. The best documental short movie I've ever seeing. I plantiful recomend you this incredible documentary.

You can find the DVD in


Ricardo Hernandez-Lecanda.

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